After the now-infamous rock through the door incident on Labor Day, we headed one last time to the pool for the closing potluck. It started at four while the sun was beaming and the water felt great. We had time for a short swim and then feasted with our neighbors on burgers and yummy summer foods and headed back into the pool for some more splash time. And then it thundered. The lifeguards ordered everyone out, and since that meant we all had to gather not only our children and swim gear but our dinner provisions at the same time, we all headed to our cars to avoid the downpour. And that marked the end of summer. It was only six in the evening but that meant time for baths and bedtime before those early morning buses came the next day. It seemed symbolic for a too-short summer heavy on the rains. But still, it was a good one with plenty of fun times including:
--Two trips to the zoo (finally using that membership!)
--One trip solely to Michigan
--One trip to Indiana (Pokagon State Park) and then on to Michigan
--One trip to Ohio (Great Wolf) and then on to Indiana (Lake House weekend)
--Four rounds of houseguests (Grandma Sandy, the Muellers, the Wilsons, and the Indiana Ward family)
--Two summer birthday celebrations (Mali and Carrigan)
--Two girls at a week-long day camp (Mali and Brinn at History/Culture/Cooking)
--Three girls at a week-long Vacation Bible School
--Many plans to visit area libraries but each week found us at our own neighborhood "little library" where the girls really enjoyed the new story hour
--One new reader (Brinnly)
--A good number of playdates hosted in our new backyard
--Three girls bribed with pierced ears for the first one to be able to ride a bike without training wheels (we are NOWHERE close to that reward happening)
--One round of swim lessons for three big girls
--Not nearly enough time in the Blackridge pool!
Our main goal for the summer was to enjoy a slower pace of life than the busyness of the school year. We had a lot to get settled in the new house and it was a delight to see how all fit in it just fine. We loved the snacks, lunches, dinners, and playtime on the new deck as well as the sound of the rain outside from our yellow living room.
We started a few new routines this summer that went fairly well. The girls are now responsible for emptying the dishwasher as well as cleaning up their rooms in the morning. Laney's job is to carry her cup over at every meal--she takes it very seriously! And my favorite new time is our morning devotions together--simply following the Small Catechism's outline for Morning Prayer has been a lovely marker for the day. (Although let's not pretend these children all sit reverently and participate willingly--we'll do it anyway).
So, adios Summer 2013. Thanks for the memories, but next year we'll take a few more sunny days and a lot more swimming.